Do you ever consider what you deserve, what you are worthy of having or receiving? There are so many things in our lives that we simply have, and often don’t consider if we are worthy of having them; running water, electricity, clothes, positive and healthy connection with other humans, or some sort of dwelling that keeps us out of the elements. For most of us these basic needs are met and we don’t attribute them to our worth or what we deserve, they just are in our lives. And, of course, we all deserve to have these basic needs met! …However;
Just this week an older gentleman that I work with stated that he now knows that he deserves to live in an safe apartment. He has come to realize that he deserves to live in a safe environment, not one fraught with drug and alcohol misuse, not one where persons are frequently found to have overdosed, not one where his health and well being are jeopardized daily. (BTW these types of housing are too often the types of places that those who struggle with homelessness are placed in.) He has come to understand that he is worthy of feeling safe. He is not looking to live in a 4 bedroom, 4 bath colonial with an acre of land, he is hoping for a little studio apartment, a one bedroom cottage, and he deserves it. He’s a great guy, he’s a good human, he has a good heart and kind spirit, …and even if none of this was true he still deserves to live somewhere safe.
The thing that is most curious about this story is that he didn’t know that he deserved to have this most basic need met. A simple home, running water, heat that works, maybe a fan or an air conditioner for the warmer months, a bed, enough money to put some healthy food in his fridge. He didn’t know he was worthy of this….he just came to this realization. Doesn’t that break your heart?
If that makes you incredibly sad, the story goes on. This same person shared with another worker that through the work we do he now knows that he is worthy, and knows that he deserves real love. Real love, unconditional love, compassionate understanding, kindness. He has just realized that he is actually worthy of the most basic of human connection.
Friends, I am forever humbled by the work that I do, by the people who teach me over and over again about the inequity in our experiences of being human, and by the things that I all to often take for granted.
Know that all of us are God’s beloved children, all of us are made a little lower than the angels, all of us are deserving of love and kindness and compassion, all of us are deserving of a safe place to rest our heads.
“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”